Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shabbat Dessert Roundup Part 1: Vanilla Scented Plum Galette

A couple of weekends ago, I was invited by my friend’s sister E to dinner at her apartment. I asked her what I could bring and she asked me to bring dessert. Of course, I willingly obliged. Having newly acquired the excellent book, Rustic Fruit Desserts, I was anxious to put it to use. After thumbing through it, I realized that living in Israel poses a problem. Fruit seasons aren’t the same as they are in America, making a number of the fruit combinations, and therefore the recipes, impossible to reproduce here. For example, the season for strawberries isn’t at the same time as the other berries, which aren’t even grown here. That being the other issue- a lot of fruits aren’t really available here, such as rhubarb, a big focal point of the book, and various berries. I did manage to find a simple recipe utilizing plums, which are at their peak season right now in Israel. The recipe is Vanilla Scented Plum Galette, an open faced tart sweetened with vanilla scented sugar and thickened with cornstarch. Of course, no matter how I try to succeed with my desserts for Shabbat, I always have at least one disaster- and this was it, although thankfully, this dessert was salvaged. I had successfully made dough and assembled a beautiful galette. Before baking, I placed it in the freezer to firm up. Apparently, not freezing it long enough coupled with not piling the fruit in the center enough equaled the galette edges opening up and leaking juice everywhere. The juice leaked all over the parchment and pan (but cleaned up easily because it was nonstick!!!). The galette was a bit….. rustic looking, I’ll say, but by the taste of the juice and a bit of plum that I nabbed, was quite delicious. After much deliberation, I decided I would serve it after all in all its rustic glory. Truth be told, I thought it was delicious, albeit, not quite as vanilla-ey as I would have liked after sacrificing a precious vanilla bean. The filling turned soft and jammy, perfectly highlighting the plums. Although this galette turned out far better than the last one I made about a year ago, I’m still dead set on achieving a picture perfect one.

Rustic Plum Galette
from Rustic Fruit Desserts

1 disc pie or galette dough
3/4 cup sugar
seeds scraped from half of a vanilla bean, or substitue vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 pounds plums, pitted and sliced into eighths

Before you begin, have your pie or galette dough ready made. Allow it to rest at room temperature to make it easier to roll out.Rub together the sugar and vanilla seeds.Add the cornstarch and salt and rub in to combine.

The lovely plums.
Sprinkle all but two tablespoons of the sugar mixture over the plums,and stir to combine. Allow to sit so the fruit can release their juices.Place the dough on a sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out to a 13-14 inch circle. Sprinkle the dough with the remaining two tablespoons sugar.

Pile the fruit into the center of the dough, taking care to make sure that there is a good inch and a half of dough surrounding it. Placing it in the center as much as possible will ensure that it doesnt leak out, as it did for me.
Fold up the dough around the fruit. Overlapping makes it nice and rustic. See the spot on the left where I didnt leave enough dough? I was just asking for a leak.. Place the parchment with the galette onto a baking sheet and put in the freezer for no less than twenty minutes. This is very important as it solidifies the fat in the dough making sure it doesnt melt right away and weaken the structure and make a mess in the oven. Dont skip this step, especially if your kitchen is as warm as mine. While the galette is in the freezer, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 and bake another 20-25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack completely. Or serve warm and with ice cream for a nice contrast.

See? I told you it was rustic.

1 comment:

Leah said...

who are you kidding? it still looked gorgeous, and tasted AMAZING